July 1944, The Imperial Japanese Army Garrison on Saipan mounted its final suicidal Banzai charge against the American Marines in the Battle for Saipan. Out of the 4000 Japanese who waged the charge there are almost no survivors but among them left alive is Captain Oba Sakae (Yutaka Takenouchi). Playing dead, he initially avoids capture and then is joined by a small band of survivors who retreat deep into the jungle. There, he as the highest ranking officer still alive will take command of the surviving 46 soldiers and 200 plus Japanese civilians now in his care who will evade the Marines and conduct a hit and run Guerrilla War long after the Americans declare the island secured in American hands. Enraged by Oba's resistance, the temperamental USMC Commander Colonel Pollard (Daniel Baldwin) launches an all out effort to hunt the man the Marines have dubbed "The Fox" of the Pacific. Failing to Capture Oba, Pollard is sacked and replaced by the mild mannered Colonel Wessinger (Treat ...Written by
Louis E. Rosas
You can see a few M-38 Jeeps and CJ3As instead of the wartime Jeep Willys Also when the Marines are walking in a straight line some of the soldiers are carrying British Lee Enfield rifles instead of M1 Garands, M1 Carbines, or 03-A3 bolt action rifles. See more »
I don't understand these Japs. This ah... Bushido suicide thing... It's ah... Well! It's crazy.
Well, It's ah... it's a matter of pride. It's a way of thinking. They've been nurturing in their heads for centuries.
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This was a surprisingly realistic war film, although it did have factual inaccuracies, such as inexplicably exaggerating the casualties inflicted by the Japanese during the infamous Saipan Banzai Charge. And while I suppose it's possible that a handful of Americans existed who understood and respected the bushido culture of Imperial Japan, they were probably nonexistent in the war zone, and therefore I found Captain Lewis' character to be totally unrealistic.
I can't speak for the acting of the Japanese. As for the Americans, Treat Williams and Daniel Baldwin can act. I can't say the same about the rest of the cast; they are terrible.
This is a Japanese film. Given the enormous scope and nature of their aggression and war crimes in the 1930s and 40s (dubbed The Asian Holocaust), and given their longstanding refusal to acknowledge said crimes, or apologize to their tens of millions of victims, I find that any portrayal by the Japanese of their WW II soldiers as heroic - even if probably true - leaves a bad taste in my mouth. This was a film that should never have been made. Imagine if modern-day Germany released a film depicting the bravery and loyalty of their soldiers in 1942. It's just unseemly, no matter how accurate.
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